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10 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About "Death In Venice."

THERE WAS A REAL TADZIO?!?!

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1. The story was inspired by an actual vacation Thomas Mann took with his family in 1911.

They visited Lido, Venice from May 26 to June 2, 1911.

3. Władysław Moes, nicknamed Adzio, visited Venice with his family at the same time as Mann.

Moes, born to a noble Polish family, was 10 at the time of his vacation to Venice. In his later life, Moes, as an officer, was captured and imprisoned by the Germans at the start of WWII.
Via tadziospeaks.co.uk

Moes, born to a noble Polish family, was 10 at the time of his vacation to Venice. In his later life, Moes, as an officer, was captured and imprisoned by the Germans at the start of WWII.

4. Even Jaschiu was inspired by a real friend of Moes.

This image shows the inspiration for Jaschiu, Jas Fudakowski, in the middle right and Adzio (Moes), on the middle left.
"The Real Tadzio" by Gilbert Adair / Via tadziospeaks.co.uk

This image shows the inspiration for Jaschiu, Jas Fudakowski, in the middle right and Adzio (Moes), on the middle left.

5. The name "Aschenbach" literally means ash brook or creek.

Many scholars have different interpretations of what this symbolizes. Most often, it is said that the name and its meaning is intended to be a reference death.
Via elboomeran.com

Many scholars have different interpretations of what this symbolizes. Most often, it is said that the name and its meaning is intended to be a reference death.

6. The novella was made into a film in 1971 by director Luchino Visconti.

It starred Dirk Bogarde as Aschenbach and Björn Andrésen as Tadzio.
Via en.wikipedia.org

It starred Dirk Bogarde as Aschenbach and Björn Andrésen as Tadzio.

7. Bjorn Andresen was conflicted by his role in the film after it drew so much attention to him as the "most beautiful boy in the world."

He tried desperately to break away from the perfect image of beauty that he was associated with because of the film. In 2003, Germaine Greer published a book entitled "The Beautiful Boy," and used a picture of 15 year old Andresen. While she had the permission of the photographer, she did not consult Andresen, and and he was furious to see it appear on the book cover.
Via en.wikipedia.org

He tried desperately to break away from the perfect image of beauty that he was associated with because of the film. In 2003, Germaine Greer published a book entitled "The Beautiful Boy," and used a picture of 15 year old Andresen. While she had the permission of the photographer, she did not consult Andresen, and and he was furious to see it appear on the book cover.

8. The novella has also been made into an opera (by Benjamin Britten in 1973) and a ballet (by John Neumeier in 2003).

9. And the adaptations don't stop there.

More recently, Martin Foreman created a one-man play entitled "Tadzio Speaks." It was performed in London in 2013 and 2014. The following is a quote from the Tadzio Speaks website: "What went through the boy's mind when he realised what was happening? Did he welcome or fear the writer's gaze? What impact did their encounter have on him? Decades later Tadzio looks back at that fateful summer in Venice."
Via tadziospeaks.co.uk

More recently, Martin Foreman created a one-man play entitled "Tadzio Speaks." It was performed in London in 2013 and 2014.

The following is a quote from the Tadzio Speaks website: "What went through the boy's mind when he realised what was happening? Did he welcome or fear the writer's gaze? What impact did their encounter have on him? Decades later Tadzio looks back at that fateful summer in Venice."

10. Mann wasn't the only author to make Venice his setting of deterioration and decay.

Many other authors use Venice in particular as a setting for their work. The following website provides a comprehensive list: http://www.fictionalcities.co.uk/venice.htm. Some of the more noteworthy works are Othello and Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. But why Venice? As the website rightly points out, "the essence of fictional Venice is dampness, shadows, and melancholy decay. Characters in novels set in Venice often go there to die, by design or by chance."
Via flickr.com

Many other authors use Venice in particular as a setting for their work.

The following website provides a comprehensive list: http://www.fictionalcities.co.uk/venice.htm.

Some of the more noteworthy works are Othello and Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.

But why Venice? As the website rightly points out, "the essence of fictional Venice is dampness, shadows, and melancholy decay. Characters in novels set in Venice often go there to die, by design or by chance."

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